The New Preppy


As a proud product of a well known all girl’s boarding school I am well versed in all things preppy.  But it was not an aesthetic I was born into or naturally adapted. I will never forget my mother’s horror when on drop off day at Miss Porter’s School I refused to wear anything but a Ben & Jerry’s tie die shirt and denim cutoffs. I thought “this place can’t still be all ‘Jackie O’- this will be fine”.  Well, there I was in a sea of pearls and pink, mouth agape looking like a sloppy mess and feeling the urgent need to find my room so I could put on a polo shirt.  I quickly became fluent in prep-  J.Crew, cable knit, Lilly, seersucker, Nantucket reds, hair ribbons, tennis whites and monograms all became de riguer over the years. My style has evolved and changed since then many times over, but suddenly with fall approaching I’ve been feeling the pull of my preppy roots calling me back to turtleneck sweaters and Burberry trenchcoats.  And I’m not alone.


The plaid-covered bible of prep “The Official Preppy Handbook” (a tattered copy of which I was passed down by my “old girl” while at Porter’s-naturally) is back this September with a new edition! This weekend, while very preppily reading about it in Vanity Fair while sipping some white wine on my parent’s porch next to my UBER-preppy Southern husband, I was reminded of the slightly dysfunctional, dusty charm of prep.m I feel like in one way or another i’ll be back in all it’s glory this year.  Not in the flashy 90’s “new money” way with huge Nantucket McMansions and 5 carat diamond studs, but on the old school terms. True preppy is not synonymous with wealth, but actually rather with being somewhat frugal, something that is especially in style lately.  Like driving cars for years and years, wearing staple favorites until threadbare, accessorizing with hand me down family pieces, living in classic older homes and not dressing in anything super trendy but rather classic items that will stay in style for years.

The new ad campaign for Tommy Hilfiger “Meet the Hilfigers” is a slightly comedic example of how the preppy aesthetic is back- camel coats, plaid, corduroy and cashmere and slight eccentricity. It’s very Royal Tenenbaums.

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Another great prppy ad campaign was that for Tory Burch shot in her own super preppy apartment by photographer Tina Barney. All those rich velvets, use of the same print on EVERYTHING, animal prints,  antiques and classic details all reign supreme in prep interiors:

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tory burch kitchen elle magazine

I had a great, long preppy interiors post but WordPress has decided to make my life hell this morning with weird formatting and I have a meeting to go to so it’ll have to wait until later!!! Preppy Part 2 comin’ at ya.

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